I am not a very well read English major. I am a beginner, just starting to dip my big toe into the deep expansive and intimidating pond of literature, and am embarrassingly ignorant to the great multitude of incredible poetry that is sitting somewhere dusty and ready to blow my mind. I came into this class with hardly a sliver of knowledge regarding Mr. Walt Whitman, just the very basic facts (which are of course, that he wrote poetry, and that he had facial hair) . It shames me to admit to all of my fellow peers, well versed or not, that the source credited for my bright eye’d and exuberant introduction to this beautiful bearded man is none other then a over priced pair of jeans that gap at my rear and make my thighs look bloated.
Most of you should be familiar with the advertisement I am alluding to, a collection of five second clips of young adults acting youthful and free and playing with fire while a segment of Whitman’s Pioneers! O Pioneers! is recited in the background by a very booming and impressive voice. I had to say, I was moved by it. It was masterfully done, the collaboration of the images and the text set for a pretty powerful minute or so, which was then instantly diluted by the ending flash of the Levi signature. It is a terrible feeling to suddenly feel vast quantities of enthusiasm and appreciation for your youth and what it entails and to for a brief moment to become aware of the potential of it, only to discover just as quickly that you are merely just a victim of some crafty advertising.
But what would Walt have to say about the words of his self viewed American Bible being sprinkled on top of some stupid marketing slogan? I find it ironic that a clothing company would choose to embrace Whitman’s poems, despite the reoccurring theme of nakedness that seems to thread through a number of his works. However I also feel he would embrace the concept of being associated with something as essential as the clothed protection of everything below the waist. Perhaps he would be both amused and offended at the advertisement, being no stranger to concieving and then accepting two opposing thoughts.
What do you think?